$5.9M Crashworthiness Award Upheld by Superior Court

As reported in the The Legal Intelligencer

“The state Superior Court has upheld a $5.9 million verdict that a Lackawanna County jury awarded to a man who claimed he suffered paralysis because his air bag failed to deploy during a crash. In making its ruling, the court rejected defendant Ford Motor Co.’s arguments that the state Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Tincher v. Omega Flex warranted a new trial in the case. A unanimous three-judge panel of the court ruled Thursday in Cancelleri v. Ford Motor that the automaker should not be granted a new trial, and said the ruling in Tincher, which dealt with how products liability cases can be tried and litigated, did not have any bearing on the case, which involved allegations about the vehicle’s crashworthiness.

Superior Court Judge Anne E. Lazarus said Ford’s argument regarding Tincher was not persuasive because “Tincher did not involve a crashworthiness case, nor did it mandate specific jury instructions to be used in any type of strict liability matter.” Lazarus further noted crashworthiness cases require juries to determine whether a vehicle was defectively designed, and whether safer alternatives could have been used instead. “Thus, the jury’s considerations in crashworthiness cases, including the instant matter, already involve ‘proof of risks and utilities’ regarding whether ‘the harm suffered was due to the defective condition of the product,'” Lazarus said. “Additionally, we agree with the trial court’s determination that the jury instructions in this matter were neither erroneous nor prejudicial toward Ford.”

Liever, Hyman & Potter has been successfully representing auto, truck and motorcycle accident victims since 1959 in our region of Central and Eastern PA. Our office is conveniently located in the M&T Bank Building in Reading, PA with free parking in the Bank lot. Consultations are free and often occur in the home of our potential clients. From the desk of John R. badal, President of the firm.

Latest Posts